Monday, April 18, 2011


Hey everybody!
So i know that I am becoming worse, and WORSE about writing. I will say it now: I'm sorry. There are many days i find myself sitting in my room at night thinking "i should write" then decide that popping in a movie or reading to fall asleep after a long day of work is a much easier idea. But, tonight is different.

The show season has started...i guess you could say. However, out here there are shows year round because for some odd reason there is never bitter, freezing cold/winds/snow, you get the idea. Anyways, I've gone to three of them now. Raven (showing under the name Double Stuff because of his resemblance to an oreo) has done so well. It's uncanny when i unload him at a show and he is completely content with standing on the side of the trailer and taking it all in. Might i tell you that at home he spooks and snorts at the palms in the outdoor arena, and the chairs in the corner of the covered arena (that's the least of it). Who knows what gets into him once he is in the trailer on his way to a show, but whatever it is, I like it! We have gotten low 70 percents in all four of our tests! I've also shown the pony Tattoo. He is a handful mainly because he is a five year old pony. He definitely knows how to test me. But i love him nonetheless. He is a challenge to ride and has taught me a lot. Last sunday we went to a show without Suzie and he threw a nervous fit in the warm up arena; he was drifting all over the place, bucking when i asked for the canter, bolting around the arena after spooking at the name it, he probably did it. The amount of horses in there with us was just way too much for him. Needless to say, i was very nervous for our test. Luckily, once we got in the show ring he calmed down and i pulled a rabbit out of my ass. Thank god! We got through it and it was a great learning experience. I mostly learned that I need Suzie! (Yes, i'm joking...partly)

So this was the first week with Suzie being back from the UK where she taught clinics. While she was gone, i got to play boss for an entire two weeks. I managed the barn, worked the horses, taught the lessons, coached at a couple shows, and felt exhausted all on my own. Impressive huh? By the second week my routine was all worked out and the days went by fast and well. My days off were spent lounging on the couch barely moving; saving all of my energy i had for the next day when it all started again. I am pretty sure that i'm still catching up on sleep. It was very refreshing to see that i could do it on my own. From what i've heard, everyone was happy with how i did and that was my biggest goal. I wanted to ensure that the horses and clients were happy. This is suzie's business and i didn't want to put any less into it than she does, otherwise what good am i looking after it? I had a lot of fun, but was very relieved to have her back last week!

The weather here has been absolutely gorgeous, with the exception of the 95 degree days...but coming from Minnesota i really have no place to complain. Everything is still green and in bloom (i keep being told that soon it is going to all die and turn brown and crunchy...lovely) and when the breeze comes in the afternoon it smells like flowers and spring blowing all the way here from back home. There are wildflowers planted behind the outside pens and nestled in them, there are poppies: light pink, papery, poppies. They are beyond beautiful. Last nights full moon was also gorgeous. It hung low and lurking in the clouds around seven-thirty. Not to mention it was huge. There are so many nights i walk up to the house from the barn just in time for the sunset. I stand on the hill and watch it sometimes and it is so amazing to see the clouds turn from light orange and yellow to hot pink and deep purple. I like that part of the day quite a bit.

My kittens are no longer kittens, except for in spirit. They are ginormous, fluff balls with big blue and amber eyes. They act like they own the place, and as far as they know, they do. Merlin has become an expert at catching the small gophers straight out of their holes. It's pretty impressive. Royce ultimately steals them and finishes them off. Alison catches them as well but usually just uses them as entertainment and once she's bored, walks away. Typical girl. They are all lovebugs. Everyone is amazed at how friendly they all are. I adore them. Still.

Well that is about all for now. Of course there are always new horses, projects, and experiences but when aren't there. Just happy i FINALLY wrote again. I have to get better at this...

Until next time,


Saturday, February 26, 2011

49 Days...Oops

I told myself, when i decided to write a blog about my time out in California, that i would be responsible with it; writing often was the biggest goal i had because the actual writing part is so easy. Needless to say, i think i'm failing.

In two weeks from tomorrow, i will have been here for six months. That is not shocking to me for some odd reason. I think that's because i've finally settled in and everything feels like home to some extent. Waves of homesickness come and go but they are definitely not as bad as when I first got here. Thank god. I'm recognizing things when we drive places, and i could tell you how to get to the beach or LA (mostly because every single sign out here has an exit for it). The longer i'm here, the stronger my desire is to explore. Hopefully i can soon! Six months goes by faster than i thought...

Trying to explain the things i've learned about riding would be impossible. The things i've been learning are starting to become ingrained in my head every time i get into a saddle. I have this subconscious checklist i go through throughout my entire ride, not only for me but the horse too. How's my position, where are my legs, hands, are my fingers closed, is my right leg too far back? Is the horse on the bit, on the forehand, is he listening to my aids? The list goes on and on and on....It's pretty amazing because i feel like i am in a boot camp. I've started expecting a certain level of work from every horse i ride. I think that's the teamwork aspect; i put in a certain level of effort and the horse should work as hard as i do. The most rewarding thing for me has been seeing and feeling the change in my horse. He is so different and so much easier to ride in comparison to when he first got here. Suzie rode him the other day and that was the first time i got to see him go around. I was so proud; because of the work i've done with him he feels better and looks even more handsome than he did before (if that's possible). I can't wait to see what he's like in another five months. I can't wait to know then, what I still have to learn now.

I've been thinking a lot lately about what I'm going to do when my apprenticeship is done here. The idea of moving back home is always comforting, but i've been wondering if that's really what i want to do. What i really want is to learn as much as possible, and to become as good of a trainer and rider as i can be. It's good to keep my mind open to anything and everything. Who knows, maybe i'll be shipped over to Germany for a few months! I just know that whatever opportunities have yet to make their way into my life, i won't be afraid to take risks in order t0 have the experiences.

One thing that i've realized is how important it is to have balance in your life. I am living my dream, but now that i've been here for so long it's time to meet some people and actually start having a little bit of a life outside of the barn. I just hope that i can meet people here that are as amazing as my friends from back home!

Well hopefully i'll write sooner than i have been. Until next time.....

Friday, January 7, 2011


Going home is something inexplicable. It is a mix of memories, comfort, and anxiousness. Memories flood into my mind when I make the drive on the highway back to my house and drive around the city. Past adventures play out on the streets that I drive on, and remind me how much I loved growing up here. Comfort leaks from my house, my family, and my friends. I love that we behave as though no time has passed since the last time we were together. An onlooker would have no idea that we have been apart for months. That is one thing I am insanely grateful for; my friends are such an integral part of my life. They support me, make me laugh until I can’t breathe, give me advice from another perspective, and listen when I need an ear. They are all truly amazing people that I have been lucky enough to encounter early on in my life. I miss them everyday, and that makes coming home that much sweeter.

I think the anxiousness I feel when I am home is the worry that I have such little time to cram everyone and everything together. This time I was lucky enough to not have that be an issue, but I felt it at thanksgiving break. I kept worrying that I was missing something or someone. It was unsettling. I never would have guessed that I would feel anxious. The fact that when I am home I have no responsibilities may also be a contributing factor. To go from taking care of a barn all day everyday to being able to lounge for an entire day if I so desire, takes a day or two of adjusting. But I’d like to make it very clear that I am in NO way complaining. I love visiting Minneapolis.

About four days into my visit, I was sitting on the couch and suddenly had this intense desire to ride. If you love horses, you understand what that urge feels like. It’s like this craving to have a really good ride and get something done. I don’t know how to describe it yet. I’ll figure it out.

The day before I left I had an absolutely amazing ride on Suzie’s horse Hobo. It was a beautiful late afternoon; the rain had stopped finally and the sun was peeking through big, puffy clouds. I got on and immediately knew that everything was going to come together. Those are some of my favorite rides. You get on and it just feels one hundred percent right, and your head is in the perfect mindset to accomplish something as a team. Hobo was an absolute dream for me and it was so fulfilling and fun. I was on cloud nine when we were done.

Being back is nice. Coming back reminds me how much I absolutely love this and don’t want to do anything else. This is too much fun. Now it’s time to get into a serious routine because there will be no visits home for a long time. I’m kind of excited to keep learning and growing; so much has already changed so what else is going to? I can’t wait.

I hope everyone had a good holiday season surrounded with the people they love and that matter most. I was lucky enough to. I can't describe how grateful i am for all the people that are in my life. Thanks to all of you for being supportive, making me laugh/smile/happy, and sticking around.

Until next time...